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Four Quebecers charged in connection with suspected kidnapping of New York couple

MONTREAL - Four Quebecers were arraigned by phone on Wednesday in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a couple in their 70s from New York state.

James Helm Jr. and Sandra Helm were found safe in Magog, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships region around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The four men each face seven counts, including kidnapping, forcible confinement and extortion of the couple, as well as conspiracy.

Five suspects aged 36 to 75, all residents of Quebec, were arrested in this case, but one has since been released.

The four accused are Franco D’Onofrio and George Dritsas, of Magog, Kosnas Dritsas, of Ville Mont-Royal, and Taylor Lawrence Martin of Akwesasne.

All four will remain detained and return to court Tuesday.

The couple from Moira, N.Y., had last been seen Sunday evening.

Details surrounding the case remain scant, including whether there is a link between the American couple and the accused.

The FBI, RCMP, New York State police and the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service all participated in the investigation into the disappearance.
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